After the publication of the much awaited Temporary POSM (Point of Sale Material) & Packaging Recycling Report by Steve Lister we were reassured to see many of the points and recommendations tie into our own, Lighthouse sustainability initiatives.
As the report highlights, a key challenge for retailers at the end of a project campaign, is to have a streamline process in place whereby units can be easily separated into the correct waste recycling streams.
“When it comes to the responsibility for recycling of temporary POSM, the industry is unanimous in the belief that this should lie with retailers. However, many brands who supply retailers with displays also feel that they have a responsibility to design these in a way that promotes recycling at the end of life. Foremost amongst these was the provision of easily understandable recycling and disassembly instructions that would remain attached to displays to be implemented at the end of life, such as QR codes printed on the units.”
Source: Temporary POSM & Packaging Recycling Report 2021.
We are already trialling QR codes with two UK retailers where we are using the QR codes in relation to our Clipstrips and accessories, to provide the POS material details and associated recycling information as well as end of life instructions for store staff. The QR codes are on the POS items themselves, which ensures the information and instructions for end of life are inseparable from the unit so that no matter how long the materials are in store the information of how to recycle remains available.
QR codes are such a simple way of linking more information to the POS unit, which cannot only be aimed at store staff, but also consumers:•
“40% of consumers are interested in sustainability” ”50% are willing to pay more for ethical brands” and “45% of GenZ have stopped purchasing certain unethical brands”. Source: Deloitte
Although the QR code trials are a relatively new initiative for Lighthouse, sustainability is and has been high on our agenda for many years, for example we have been sending our PP off cuts back to the mill, where it is manufactured. Other long standing measures we have in place to manage the amount of materials being used and to assist in the end of product life are:
• Designing out waste at the beginning of the process.
• Optimisation of the design on the standard material sheet size, as it is being created.
• Where MOQs allow, ordering bespoke sheet sizes to minimise the off-cuts and waste created in the manufacture of the units.
• Using easy to recycle materials such as PP (as previously mentioned, with its unique quality that it can be recycled an infinite number of times), PET (which is easily and widely recycled) and of course card.
• Designing Clipstrips that can be reused many times; our plastic clipstrips can be refilled and we have many existing designs to suit product packaging format and intended life in store. We have seen some of our units in store for years.
• Including the mobius loop on our die cutting tools which allows POS materials to be embossed with the respective recycling information, for example the number “1” equals PET, number “5” is PP. This allows the materials to be identified and therefore differentiated at ‘end of life’ for separating into the correct recycling stream. This has been a feature of stock items since 2018, and we encourage our customers to add the mobius loop to their artworks for printed units, so whether the units are plain or printed the mobius loop information is available.
The biggest challenge is for retailers, and the processes they need to adopt in order to manage POS items at end of life in each of their stores. Ours is only a small part of the process but one where we can make a huge difference by making the right decisions at the beginning of the project.
We work hard to apply the same principles for POS projects outside clipstrip enquiries, to ensure the most suitable materials for the job are used; a key criterion is the environmental credentials and the Antalis Green Star System™ is an excellent tool.
At Lighthouse, we continue to strive to become more environmentally aware and more sustainable in everything we do. If you would like to find out more, please take a look at our Eco Credentials page or contact us directly to talk about other initiatives and accreditations.